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Vol. 34 No. 5
September-October 2012

Conference Call | Reports from recent conferences and symposia 
See also

Advanced Polymeric Materials

POLYCHAR, The World Forum on Advanced Polymeric Materials, belongs to a series of annual conferences taking place in different countries starting in USA (from 1992 until 2003), then moving on to Portugal (2004), Singapore (2005), Japan (2006), Brazil (2007), India (2008), France (2009), Germany (2010) and Nepal (2011). The conference enjoys a high international reputation and has been sponsored by IUPAC for more than 10 years.

The 20th World Forum on Advanced Polymeric Materials—POLYCHAR 20—was held from 26–30 March 2012 in Dubrovnik (Croatia), a medieval city, included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The POLYCHAR Scientific Committee, with 53 countries represented, nominated the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology as the organizer of POLYCHAR 20 conference, with Vera Kovacevic as the conference convener and Stanislav Kurajica as the conference chair.

Group photo of participants at POLYCHAR 20.

The name POLYCHAR is derived from polymer characterization but goes beyond the initial goal and now addresses the whole field of polymeric materials. The Short Course on Polymer Characterization, held usually on the first conference day, was established at the very beginning by the Polychar founders: Witold Brostow, Michael Hess and Kevin P. Menard. The idea was to provide basic and up-to-date information on the popular characterization techniques by well-known specialists in a condensed presentation (covered by reference material) to students and newcomers in this field.

The Short Course on Polymer Characterization was held 26 March 2012, the first day of the POLYCHAR 20:

  • Polymer Tribology and its Relation to Mechanics, Witold Brostow, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas
  • Dynamic Mechanical and Thermophysical Analysis, Michael Hess, Chosun University, South Korea
  • Polymer Molecular Dynamics around Glass Transition, Jean Marc Saiter, University of Rouen, France
  • Electron Microscopy of Polymers: Techniques and Examples, Goerg H. Michler and Sven Henning, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Institute of Physics, Halle (Saale), Germany
  • Modern Microscopic Techniques, Holger Schönherr, University of Siegen, Germany
  • Positron Annihilation of Polymers, Frans Maurer, Lund University, Sweden
  • X-ray Diffraction of Polymers, Ivan Šmit, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Electrical Properties of Polymers and Polymer Composites, Traian Zaharescu, National Institute of Electrical Engineering, Bucharest, Romania
  • Molecular Characterization of Synthetic Polymers by Liquid Chromatography, Dusan Berek, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia

About 300 registered participants from academia and industry, from 43 countries and 5 continents attended POLYCHAR 20 that offered 110 oral presentations and 156 posters in three parallel sessions covering the following topics:

  • Predictive Methods and Simulations
  • Structure-Property Relationships
  • Surfaces, Interfaces, Adhesion and Tribology
  • Materials Synthesis
  • Rheology and Processing
  • Mechanical Properties and Performance
  • Electrical and Dielectric Properties
  • Nanomaterials and Smart Materials
  • Biomaterials, Green Materials and Composites
  • Materials for Energy and Recycling
  • Natural and Biodegradable Polymers

Following is a sampling of the 15 invited lectures that covered a broad range of subjects:

  • Jung-Il Jin, Korea University, “First organic high temperature ferromagnetic compositions—a scientific lesson learned from DNA”
  • Giovanni Camino, Polytechnic University of Turin, “Surface and bulk contribution to polymers and nanocomposites ignition”
  • Marianne Gilbert, Loughborough University, “Hydrotalcite as secondary stabilizer for PVC”
  • Masaru Matsuo, Department of Polymer Science and Materials, Dalian University of Technology, “Structures of high modulus and high strength polymer materials evaluated by X-ray, positron annihilation,13C NMR”
  • José Miguel Martin Martínez, University of Alicante, “Degradable polyurethane adhesives based on rosin and tung oil diols”

Being an IUPAC-sponsored international conference, POLYCHAR 20 attracts scientists from all over the world reflecting the philosophy of the Polychar conferences that is to provide an international forum, especially for students and young scientists. The principal aim is to give them opportunity to meet with their peers and with well-known scientists and to exchange experiences, make contacts and present their results to the scientific community. IUPAC’s financial support enabled the attendance of 12 students and young researchers from scientifically emerging countries.

The broad span of contributions to POLYCHAR 20 is probably best represented by the awardees of the conference and their contributions. The P.J. Flory Polymer Research prize was awarded to Robert F.S. Stepto, Manchester Materials Science Centre, for his work on thermoplastics including thermoplastic starch materials. The International Materials Science Prize was given to Hyoung Jin Choi, Inha University, Incheon, for his work on rheology and electro-rheology.

Three IUPAC Poster Prizes were awarded:

  • Zuzana Morávková Rozlivková, Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of sciences of the Czech Republic for her poster “Polyaniline prepared in water-ethanol mixture”
  • Sven-Christian Sidenstein, University of Siegen, Germany (advisor Holger Schoenherr), for his poster “Internal organization does matter: tracerdiffusion in poly(methyl acrylate) brushes and spin-coated films”
  • Mirna Petkovic Didovic, University of Rijeka, School of Medicine, Croatia (advisor Srecko Valic), for her poster “Correlation between orientations of nanoclay and natural rubber crystallites in natural rubber/clay nanocomposites”

The Jűrgen Springer Prize for a Young Scientist was given to Marianna Pannico, Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Polymers, Pozzuoli, for the presentation “Stabilization Effects of Functional POSS in Epoxy Resins: Spectroscopic and Dynamic-Mechanical Studies.”

The Bruce Hartman Prize for a Young Scientists was awarded to Malgorzata Walczak, Centre of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies, Lodz, for the poster “Characterization of PC/PS Multilayered Films.”

The Carl Klason Prize for an Outstanding Student Presentation was awarded to three ex aequo winners:

  • Michael Härth, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen, for the poster “Simple Approximate Solution for Modeling the Spreading of a Drop in Partial Wetting Case”
  • Zhansaya K. Sadakbayeva, Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Prague, for the poster “Interpenetrating Networks Based Hydrogels”
  • Zrinka Buhin, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, for the oral presentation “In Situ Emulsion Polymerization and Characterization of Poly (Butyl Acrylate-co-Methyl Methacrylate)/Silica Nanosystems”

Because of the great number of very good student presentations, five Diplomas of Distinction for a Student Presentation were given:

  • Aline Bassi Denis, Instituto de Quimica de Săo Carlos, Săo Carlos, for the poster “Residual Monomer Determination of Dental Resins with Different Photoinitiators”
  • Rajesh Pandit, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, for the poster “Epoxidation Effect of Butadiene Block on Morphology and mechanical Properties of SBS Block Copolymer”
  • Ricarda Schröder, Aachen University, Aachen, for the poster “Zwitterionic Microgels Based on N-Vinylcaprolactam and Sulfo-, Carboxy-, and Phosphobetaine”
  • Selda Sen, Istambul Technical University, Istanbul, for the poster “A Study on Electrospinning of Acrylonitrile and Itaconic Acid Copolymers”
  • Ângela Dias, Universidade do Porto, Porto, for the presentation “Effect of Added Amines on the Morphology of Vesiculated Polyester Particles”

Special acknowledgements were given to the retired Croatian professors from the Zagreb University, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology:

  • Zvonimir Janovic, for his selfless scientific and educational work in the area of polymer science and materials;
  • Mladen Bravar, for his important contributions to supervising and education of young scientists in the area of advanced materials;
  • Branko Kunst, for his pioneering work in physical chemistry of polymers and successful mentoring of young scientists and students.

Manuscripts of the POLYCHAR 20 participants will be published in Macromolecular Symposia, Polymer Engineering & Science, Materials Research Innovations, and Chemistry & Chemical Technology.

POLYCHAR 21, 18–22 March 2013, will be held in Daegu, South Korea.

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